Advertisement

Psychiatric Quarterly

, Volume 89, Issue 4, pp 1007–1018 | Cite as

Medical Student Reactions to Disaster after the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake: Motivation and Posttraumatic Growth

  • Kanako TakuEmail author
  • Phoebe G. Prioleau
  • David S. Anderson
  • Yuzo Takeguchi
  • Hideharu Sekine
  • Masaharu Maeda
  • Hirooki Yabe
  • Robert T. Yanagisawa
  • Craig L. Katz
Original Paper

Abstract

Medical students often become involved as post-disaster emergency responders despite incomplete training, and in doing so may suppress their immediate experiences as victims and survivors. This experience, however, may lead them to increase their motivation to help others. We examined how cognitive and emotional reactions to disaster correlated with posttraumatic growth (PTG) in medical students in Fukushima, Japan after the Great East Japan Earthquake of March 11, 2011. To date, Fukushima continues to suffer from radiation concerns following the nuclear power plant meltdown. In a survey three years after the onset of a long-term disaster, with a cross-sectional research design, medical students (N = 494) reported their negative post-disaster reactions, desire to help, and demonstrations of capability, and completed the Posttraumatic Growth Inventory (PTGI). We conducted hierarchical regression analyses and found that the addition of variables pertaining to negative post-disaster reactions (e.g. confusion, anger, and sadness) led to the largest increase in predictive value for PTGI scores; students reporting a past traumatic experience were also more likely to experience PTG. Our results indicate that weathering stressful disaster circumstances created opportunities for positive personal growth and reinforcement at a crucial time in medical students’ professional development.

Keywords

Resilience Posttraumatic growth PTSD phenomenology Etiology/risk and protective factors Disaster 

Notes

Acknowledgements

The authors would like to thank Dr. Atsushi Kumagai, Dr. Akira Ohtsuru, and Shohei Andoh (Fukushima Medical University, Fukushima, Japan) for their support and assistance with this survey.

Funding

This work was supported by the Arnhold Global Health Institute at Mount Sinai and by Rotary International (Global Grant 1414205).

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. The study was granted exemption by the Mount Sinai IRB and approved by the Fukushima Medical University IRB.

Disclosures

This manuscript has not been previously published and is not under consideration in the same or substantially similar form in any other peer-reviewed media. All authors listed have contributed sufficiently to the project to be included as authors. To the best of our knowledge, no conflict of interest, financial or other, exists.

Conflict of Interests

The author(s) declared no potential conflicts of interest with respect to the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article.

References

  1. 1.
    Anderson D, Prioleau P, Taku K, Naruse Y, Sekine H, Maeda M, et al. Post-traumatic stress and growth among medical student volunteers after the march 2011 disaster in Fukushima, Japan: implications for student involvement with future disasters. Psychiatry Q. 2015;87:241–51.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s11126-015-9381-3.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Tedeschi RG, Calhoun LG. The posttraumatic growth inventory: measuring the positive legacy of trauma. J Trauma Stress. 1996;9(3):455–71.  https://doi.org/10.1002/jts.2490090305.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Tedeschi RG, Calhoun LG. Posttraumatic growth: conceptual foundations and empirical evidence. Psychol Inq. 2004;15(1):1–18.  https://doi.org/10.1207/s15327965pli1501_01.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Taku K, Cann A, Tedeschi RG, Calhoun LG. Intrusive versus deliberate rumination in posttraumatic growth across US and Japanese samples. Anxiety Stress Coping. 2009;22(2):129–36.  https://doi.org/10.1080/10615800802317841.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Taku K, Cann A, Tedeschi RG, Calhoun LG. Core beliefs shaken by an earthquake correlate with posttraumatic growth. Psychol Trauma. 2015;7(6):563–9.  https://doi.org/10.1037/tra0000054.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Xu J, Liao Q. Prevalence and predictors of posttraumatic growth among adult survivors one year following 2008 Sichuan earthquake. J Affect Disord. 2011;133(1–2):274–80.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jad.2011.03.034.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Bunevicius A, Katkute A, Bunevicius R. Symptoms of anxiety and depression in medical students and in humanities students: relationship with big-five personality dimensions and vulnerability to stress. Int J Soc Psychiatry. 2008;54(6):494–501.  https://doi.org/10.1177/0020764008090843.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Mavor KI, McNeill KG, Anderson K, Kerr A, O'Reilly E, Platow MJ. Beyond prevalence to process: the role of self and identity in medical student well-being. Med Educ. 2014;48(4):351–60.  https://doi.org/10.1111/medu.12375.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Roberts LW, Warner TD, Lyketsos C, Frank E, Ganzini L, Carter D. Perceptions of academic vulnerability associated with personal illness: a study of 1,027 students at nine medical schools. Collaborative research group on medical student health. Compr Psychiatry. 2001;42(1):1–15.  https://doi.org/10.1053/comp.2001.19747.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Katz CL, Gluck N, Maurizio A, DeLisi LE. The medical student experience with disasters and disaster response. CNS Spectr. 2002;7(8):604–10.  https://doi.org/10.1017/S1092852900018216.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Kunst MJ. Peritraumatic distress, posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms, and posttraumatic growth in victims of violence. J Trauma Stress. 2010;23(4):514–8.  https://doi.org/10.1002/jts.20556.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Shi L, Yu Y, Peng L, Liu B, Miao Y, Li M, et al. Posttraumatic growth in fresh medical cadets after military training and its influencing factors. J Psychiatry. 2015;18(3):272–6.  https://doi.org/10.4172/psychiatry.1000272.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Shakespeare-Finch J, Barrington AJ. Behavioural changes add validity to the construct of posttraumatic growth. J Trauma Stress. 2012;25(4):433–9.  https://doi.org/10.1002/jts.21730.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Calhoun LG, Tedeschi RG. The foundations of posttraumatic growth: an expanded framework. In: Calhoun LG, Tedeschi RG, editors. Handbook of posttraumatic growth: research and practice. Mahwah: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates; 2006. p. 3–23.Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Davidson JR, Book SW, Colket JT, Tupler LA, Roth S, David D, et al. Assessment of a new self-rating scale for post-traumatic stress disorder. Psychol Med. 1997;27(1):153–60.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Taku K, Calhoun LG, Tedeschi RG, Gil-Rivas V, Kilmer RP, Cann A. Examining posttraumatic growth among Japanese university students. Anxiety Stress Coping. 2007;20:353–67.  https://doi.org/10.1080/10615800701295007.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Jang L, LaMendola WF. Social work in natural disasters: the case of spirituality and post-traumatic growth. Adv Soc Work. 2007;8(2):305–16.Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Shakespeare-Finch J, Lurie-Beck J. A meta-analytic clarification of the relationship between posttraumatic growth and symptoms of posttraumatic distress disorder. J Anxiety Disord. 2014;28(2):223–9.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.janxdis.2013.10.005.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    McCaslin SE, de Zoysa P, Butler LD, Hart S, Marmar CR, Metzler TJ, et al. The relationship of posttraumatic growth to peritraumatic reactions and posttraumatic stress symptoms among Sri Lankan university students. J Trauma Stress. 2009;22(4):334–9.  https://doi.org/10.1002/jts.20426.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Hobfoll SE, Hall BJ, Canetti-Nisim D, Galea S, Johnson RJ, Palmieri PA. Refining our understanding of traumatic growth in the face of terrorism: moving from meaning cognitions to doing what is meaningful. Appl Psychol Int Rev. 2007;56:345–66.  https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1464-0597.2007.00292.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Peterson C, Park N, Pole N, D'Andrea W, Seligman MEP. Strengths of character and posttraumatic growth. J Trauma Stress. 2008;21(2):214–7.  https://doi.org/10.1002/jts.20332.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Calderon-Abbo J, Kronenberg M, Many M, Ososfsky HJ. Fostering healthcare Providers' post-traumatic growth in disaster areas: proposed additional Core competencies in trauma-impact management. Am J Med Sci. 2008;336(2):208–14.  https://doi.org/10.1097/MAJ.0b013e318180f5db.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kanako Taku
    • 1
    Email author
  • Phoebe G. Prioleau
    • 2
  • David S. Anderson
    • 2
  • Yuzo Takeguchi
    • 3
  • Hideharu Sekine
    • 4
  • Masaharu Maeda
    • 5
  • Hirooki Yabe
    • 6
  • Robert T. Yanagisawa
    • 7
  • Craig L. Katz
    • 8
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyOakland UniversityRochesterUSA
  2. 2.Icahn School of Medicine at Mount SinaiNew YorkUSA
  3. 3.School of MedicineFukushima Medical UniversityFukushima CityJapan
  4. 4.International Exchange Affairs, Fukushima Medical UniversityFukushima CityJapan
  5. 5.Department of Disaster PsychiatryFukushima Medical UniversityFukushima CityJapan
  6. 6.Department of NeuropsychiatryFukushima Medical UniversityFukushima CityJapan
  7. 7.Division of Endocrinology, Department of MedicineIcahn School of Medicine at Mount SinaiNew YorkUSA
  8. 8.Medical Education, and Systems Design and Global HealthIcahn School of Medicine at Mount SinaiNew YorkUSA

Personalised recommendations